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How To Check if Your Phone Is Unlocked (2024)


Mar 23, 2024 • Filed to: Remove Screen Lock • Proven solutions

For many, securing a brand-new phone often involves the convenience of bundling it with a carrier contract. While this simplifies the initial purchase, it can lock you into a specific network. This can limit your options down the line. Knowing if your phone is unlocked becomes crucial, especially when planning an international trip, seeking better deals, or simply wanting the flexibility to switch carriers.

Thankfully, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to learn how to check if your phone is unlocked. You’ll even know how to unlock it yourself if you see it’s locked. So, dive in and unlock your phone’s full potential with all the abilities this article can teach you.

iphone sim not supported prompt

Part 1: How To Check if an Android/iPhone Is Unlocked

Before delving into specific methods, let’s address the most direct way to confirm your phone’s unlock status: the SIM card swap. This is one of the main ways how to tell if a phone is unlocked. Insert a SIM card from a carrier different from your current provider.

If the phone accepts the new SIM and allows calls and data usage, congratulations, your phone is unlocked! Conversely, if the phone displays an error message like “SIM Not Supported” or “Invalid SIM,” it’s likely locked to your current carrier.

How To Check if Your iPhone Is Unlocked

For iPhone users, navigating the unlock status involves a quick trip to your device settings:

  • Step 1:Open your iPhone’s Settings app.
  • Step 2: Navigate to General in Settings, then tap About.
  • Step 3: Scroll down and check for Carrier Lock or Service Provider Lock. If it says No SIM Restrictions, your phone is unlocked. It’s easy to learn how to tell if a phone is unlocked when using an iPhone.

iphone no sim restrictions settings

How To Check if Your Android Phone Is Unlocked

Android devices, with their diverse manufacturers and UI variations, require a slightly different approach:

  • Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
  • Step 2: Explore options related to “Network” or “Mobile Network.” The specific path might vary depending on your device’s brand and model.
  • Step 3: Look for options like “Network Operators,” “SIM Card Lock,” or similar. If you can search for available networks, your phone is likely unlocked. This is one of the prime ways how to check if a phone is an unlocked on Android devices.

android network unlock settings

Note: Some manufacturers offer dedicated tools or apps to check unlock status. Consult your device’s manual or website for specific instructions.

Carrier-Specific Solutions: Unlocking the Details

While the above methods provide general guidance, certain carriers might offer dedicated methods to verify the unlock status. For example, Verizon offers two ways to answer your question, “how do I know if my Verizon phone is unlocked?”

  • Contract check.Review your Verizon contract to see if the unlock eligibility date has passed since the contract’s execution.
  • Unlocking process.Visit the Verizon website and initiate the unlocking process. If successful, you’ll receive confirmation of your phone’s unlocked status.

Note: The process for other carriers is usually similar. Check their respective websites or contact their customer support for specific details. Asking the carrier is also a great way how to check if a phone is unlocked.

Unlocking your phone might have restrictions depending on your carrier and contract. Always check their policies and procedures before proceeding.

Part 2: How To Unlock Your Device After You Checked and It’s Locked

So, say you’ve found out your phone is still network-locked upon following the steps above. This might lead to frustration, especially if you want to put in a fresh SIM card. Thankfully, there are different ways to unlock your device when it’s still carrier-locked.

This part of the article will show two distinct methods for unlocking your phone’s carrier lock. Might it be through a third-party tool or your carrier’s official methods – this section has you covered.

Method 1: Network Unlocking With Wondershare Dr.Fone

Wondershare Dr.Fone is a comprehensive smartphone tool suite specializing in various data solutions. Its “Screen Unlock” feature specifically targets iPhone network lock removal. This makes it a great tool for unlocking your phone once you find out that it’s carrier-locked.

Dr.Fone provides a user-friendly interface and straightforward instructions for a smooth unlocking experience. The software supports many iOS versions, so you won’t have to worry about the software updates. Of course, Dr.Fone prioritizes data security during the unlocking process, keeping your valuable information safe.

Among its features, Dr.Fone’s SIM Unlock functionality empowers you to bypass carrier restrictions and unlock your phone with any compatible network provider.

How To Factory Unlock Your Phone With Wondershare Dr.Fone

To unlock your phone with Wondershare Dr.Fone, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Download Wondershare Dr.Fone on your computer. Install and launch it afterward.
safe Downloadsafe & secure
  • Step 2: Go to Toolbox > Screen Unlock > iOS.

dr.fone homepage

  • Step 3: On this page, look for Remove SIM Locked.

dr.fone screen unlock page

  • Step 4: You will be brought to this prompt. Click Start.

dr.fone sim unlock page

  • Step 5: Wait for the program to bring up your device details. Confirm that they are correct, then click Unlock Now.

dr.fone sim phone verify page

  • Step 6: Notice that Dr.Fone will require you to jailbreak your iPhone before performing SIM unlock. To do this, follow the steps under JailBreak Guide or Watch Video.

dr.fone sim jailbreak page

  • Step 7: To ensure no issues with your Wi-Fi and other network settings, follow the steps below. Once done, click Continue.

dr.fone instructions sim operation

  • Step 8: Congratulations! Your phone should be unlocked by now. Follow the steps in the previous sections on how to tell if a phone is unlocked to make sure. Click Done.

dr.fone sim lock removal success

Method 2: Unlocking With Your Carrier’s Official Methods

As mentioned earlier, carriers often provide official routes to unlock their devices. While typically requiring compliance with specific criteria, this method ensures you stay within your carrier’s policies.

Most carriers offer two common methods for unlocking their phones:

  • Paying an upfront fee.If your contract period is still ongoing, certain carriers allow unlocking upon payment of a predetermined fee. Check your carrier’s website or contact customer support for eligibility and fee details.
  • Requesting a SIM unlock.Once your contract has expired and you meet the carrier’s eligibility criteria (e.g., device payment completion), you can submit an official unlock request. Carriers typically have dedicated online portals or customer service channels for this process.

Remember, each carrier has its policies and procedures regarding unlocking. Consult your carrier’s official website or contact customer support for specific instructions and eligibility requirements.


Navigating the world of phone locks and restrictions can be daunting, but with the right information, you can unlock your device’s full potential. Of course, this guide taught you how to check if your phone is unlocked or not. Further, it taught you how to unlock it through official carrier channels or a trustworthy third-party tool like Wondershare Dr.Fone.

Remember, official carrier methods are always recommended, but if you face roadblocks, Dr.Fone offers a reliable alternative for various unlocking needs, including network restrictions. Don’t hesitate to explore its comprehensive data recovery suite, system repair, and more features, empowering you to manage your phone easily. With knowledge and responsible action, you can unlock a world of possibilities for your mobile device.


While your IMEI number is a unique identifier for your phone, it doesn’t directly indicate the lock status. However, some online IMEI checkers claim to offer this information. Use these services cautiously, as their accuracy can vary, and they might require disclosing your IMEI, which holds sensitive information.

Instead, the methods outlined in this guide, like checking through settings or inserting a different SIM card, are more reliable options for determining your phone’s lock status.

There are two main types of unlocked phones: network-unlocked and SIM-unlocked.

  • Network-unlocked. Your phone can freely work with any compatible network provider, regardless of which carrier it was originally purchased from. You can insert a SIM card from any compatible provider and start using it.
  • SIM-unlocked. This means your phone can only work with different SIM cards from the same carrier network it was originally locked to. While it offers some flexibility within the same carrier network, it doesn’t have the freedom to be network-unlocked.

It’s crucial to know the specific type of unlocked phone you’re dealing with to understand its network compatibility.

Yes, you can still use Wi-Fi on a locked phone. The network lock restricts your ability to use cellular data and call with different carrier SIM cards. Wi-Fi access remains unaffected by the lock status.

So, even if your phone is locked, you can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots or your home network to access the internet, browse websites, and use apps that don’t require cellular data. However, remember that certain features might be unavailable on a locked phone, like making calls using VoLTE technology.

screen unlock

James Davis

staff Editor

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